The Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) on Friday issued a notice to the Centre on the petition of Major Gen K Khorana (retd), who has asked whether an anomaly of the 6th Central Pay Commission (CPC), which arose on January 1, 2006, and was rectified by the government in 2012, can be invoked from a future date or would it have to be implemented from the date of inception of the anomaly.
Khorana, a resident of Panchkula (Haryana), who retired prior to January 1, 2006, submitted that the 6th CPC fairly recommended that the pension of all officers who retired prior to 2006 would be fixed not less than 50% of the sum of minimum of the pay in the pay band and the grade pay. A sum of Military Service Pay was to be added into the said figure for defence personnel. The government accepted it too.
But later, a clarification was issued, which fixed the pension of all pre-2006 retirees by taking into account the minimum of the pay band itself and not the minimum of pay for each rank within the pay band.
Khorana added that it resulted in minuscule difference of pensions between Lieutenants, Captains and Majors who were in Pay Band-3 and Lt Colonels, Colonels, Brigadiers and Majors General who were placed in Pay Band-4. Such a decision was taken at the level of department of pensions and pensioners' welfare on the insistence of the ministry of finance, who on their own issued a clarification to this effect.
To examine this anomaly, a special anomaly committee under the cabinet secretary was formulated. On the recommendations of the committee, the government rectified the anomaly and the pension was now ordered to be based on 50% of the minimum of the pay within the pay band for each rank than the pay band itself.
However, the said benefits have been directed to be granted only from September 24, 2012, not from January 1, 2006, the date of inception of the anomaly.